I recently went to the train station in Paso Robles to pick up a friend. I arrived early, thinking I could wait inside a lovely old station filled with benches and magazines and historical photos on the wall. That’s how I remembered the station of long ago.
Instead, I saw covered widows, locked doors, trash cans filled to overflowing and papers blowing in the wind. In the alcove that was once the entrance to the station, there were leaves, trash, a dirty diaper and a man sleeping in the corner. The outside restroom was filthy. What a place to welcome a newcomer to Paso. I was ashamed.
A week later, I took my friend back to the station. It was raining, and the wind was blowing. We had to stand in the alcove with two other people waiting to board. We shared again with someone sleeping in the corner and a homeless woman with all her gear, sitting on a wet bench trying to stay dry and warm.
We should be ashamed to greet people coming into Paso Robles like this. This should not be their first impression of our city.
Caryll Krebs, Paso Robles